It may appear to be a poor news week for US whistle-blower Edward Snowden but just today, Friday, there are a range of reports regarding this hero come traitor. Here is a round-up of events.
G20 Summit Russia September 2013
In true hypocritical style US Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. have put forward a motion aimed at encouraging Russia to hand Snowden over to the USA. They want US President Barack Obama to consider moving the G20 summit from Russia unless it hands over Snowden. Foolishly this writer thought that as it was called a G20 summit it was not just America's playground but a meeting of the world's most important countries, as far as some view them. It would seem that it is the USA's party and they are pulling the strings.
Considering that Snowden's leaked information led to one revelation that the UK were utilising spy systems to bug official's attending a G20 summit in Britain it is really a huge joke. As we wrote June17:
"The report relates to the pre-Cameron era in 2009. According to the Guardian’s report: “Foreign politicians and officials who took part in two G-20 summit meetings in London in 2009 had their computers monitored and their phone calls intercepted on the instructions of their British government hosts, according to documents seen by the Guardian. Some delegates were tricked into using Internet cafes, which had been set up by British intelligence agencies to read their email traffic.”
As some of the activities of the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the British intelligence agency, its American counterpart the National Security Agency (NSA) and politicians both sides of the pond, become public knowledge, leaders continue uncomfortably shifting their positions."
Germany's Angela Merkel urges patience in the Snowden affair
If you wondered why the EU was showing a quiet front lately it is partly as German's go to the polls in a couple of months. Until then German leader Merkel will not want to rock any boat, financial or otherwise, in case it has an effect on her election chances. Funny how leaders want to cling to power no matter how tough and bad it gets, isn't it?
Friday her usual question-time was swamped by questions regarding US spying and Edward Snowden. She maintains that she has not failed the German people by ignoring US spying. The German election is scheduled for September 22 and of course her apparent lack of action in tackling Obama and US spying is fuel for the opposition.
As ABC News points out data protection is especially important in Germany after abuses by the Nazis and East German Communists. To date it seems that Germany's questions to those in Washington have been pathetic and in line with other European leaders. They all issue the same failed reasoning that surveillance is vital to stop terrorism. Once again we are left wondering how come the Boston Bombers and Woolwich murder were able to play out so easily then?.
Merkel reportedly said: "My job is to ensure people in Germany know that German law applies on German soil, and that applies to everyone here." Adding "it is not my job to familiarize myself with the details of PRISM," referring to one of the NSA programs"
Washington angers Venezuelan leader
The report began with western hypocrisy so this round-up of Snowden latest news may as well end with that. Washington has this week criticised the Venezuelan government for human rights breaches. Coming from a country, the USA, that operates a detention camp, Guantanamo, where trials are non existent and is hell-bent on condemning a young military man Bradley Manning to at the very least a life sentence in prison for showing the world the truth about US abuses, the level of hypocrisy is extraordinary.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has vented his anger following ambassador-designate Samantha Powers statement that Venezuela, along with Cuba, Iran and Russia, is guilty of a "crackdown on civil society." Maduro called her claims despicable and has demanded a retraction.